Friday, 8 April 2016

How To Avoid Looking Like A Tourist In Europe


I'm always very conscious about looking like a tourist when I'm traveling through Europe.  Wether it's Paris, Rome, Athens or anything in between the truth is that the service you receive is much better when you're not automatically labeled a tourist.  It's also a safety issue for me - thieves and pickpockets generally are more apt to leave you alone if you're not immediately identified as a foreigner. Although the style of dress varies from country to country, I always follow these 5 tips in any european city that I'm visiting and they've always served me well.

how to not look like a tourist in paris


1. Wear Closed Toe Shoes


This has definitely become my number one rule when packing footwear for a Eurotrip. While it may be tempting to wear sandals or open-toe shoes when walking around a warm city, try to stick with a closed toe flat. Europeans label sandals exclusively for the beach, so unless you're in a beach town stick to a closed toe.  Sleek black leather boots are almost always a safe choice, but if the weather is a little warmer where you are then stick to a comfortable ballet flat.

how to avoid looking like a tourist in europe

2. Avoid Showing Your Camera


This is a no-brainer, but it's worth the mention - avoid showing your camera while traveling around different cities in Europe. Not only is it beneficial to keep your camera under wraps while you're on the go, but that also applies to looking through photos when you're stopped.  Avoid pulling out your camera to look through photos when you're on any form of public transit; this is typically where pickpockets strike the most, and your camera will make you a huge target.


how to avoid looking like a tourist in italy

3. Hide Your Water Bottle


I remember once chatting to a shop owner in Paris, asking her how she identifies tourists and her answer was simple: she always looks for people walking around with a water bottle.  While it's practical to travel with a water bottle, especially when it's hot out and you're doing lots of walking, try to carry a bag that is big enough to stash it inside. I have a Longchamp Le Pliage bag in the 'small' size and it's perfect to carry all of your essentials, a camera and your water bottle.

how to avoid looking like a tourist in rome

4. Dress Conservatively

Of course each European country is different, and has a different sense of style but the one thing that is consistent if you want to avoid looking like a tourist is to dress conservatively.  Keep your shorts, mini skirts and tube tops at home.  Always be mindful of balance, wearing longer sleeves with a shorter skirt or covering your legs when wearing a sleeveless top.  Take it from someone who wore shorts while traveling through Paris - just say no, and dress conservatively.


how to avoid looking like a tourist in france

5. Stick To Neutrals


When it doubt, pack neutrals. Not only will sticking to neutrals make packing so much easier, it also helps to avoid any un-wanted attention that bright, loud colours attract.  I like to pack the majority in neutral colours, wait to see what the stye is in the city I'm visiting and purchase a fun accessory in the on-trend colour when I'm there (the last time I was in Paris, it was an orange scarf.)  Not only does this process make packing so much easier, but it also leaves you with great souvenirs from your travels.

Traveling trough Europe is an incredible experience, and doing your best to avoid looking like a tourist only adds to that experience.  What do you guys think?  What are your tips while traveling through Europe?  Let me know!

xo Joëlle

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19 comments

  1. This post is giving me the travel bug. It's been years since I was anywhere in Europe, it's time I planned another trip!

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    1. Yes, another trip is a must! I know what you mean, I see one photo from Paris and I want to be teleported there!

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  2. This is so spot-on! I can always find tourists when I'm in France, but I'm from a little mountain town, so people are usually very nice to tourists.

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    1. I'm so glad that you agree Lena! I would LOVE to visit your mountain town in France - I usually stick to Paris where they are NOT so nice to tourists LOL!

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  3. These are such great tips!! It's so hard for me to put away my camera as I wnt to take photos of everything but I definitely do it on metros!

    Lee - leethrifts.com

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    1. Same here Lee - I'm always looking to capture the moment! Definitely putting away the camera at the metro and on certain cafe terraces helps though!

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  4. This is such a great post! I remember having to say to my In-Laws when they came to England for the first time from Canada for my Wedding to never wear a fanny-pack and NEVER go out in an "I heart London" or Union Jack shirt because of pick-pockets... and we were once pick-pocketed by a huge group of Children on a bridge in Rome when I was a child, as a Londoner I was nearly robbed on a packed LDN tube train once at Uni! You have to e so careful! Great pointers.. the water bottle one is one I never would have thought of!
    xoxo Ellie
    www.maplesyrupandteacups.blogspot.ca

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    1. It's so true Ellie - its best to be careful! I totally agree with the fanny packs LOL! So glad that you agree with my tips!

      xo

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  5. Great tips Joelle! I always find that my travel experience is so much better if I can blend in with the locals :)
    I always extend it beyond Europe too! When we go to Hawaii, we try to blend in with the locals. We always get the best advice, and they don't mind us hanging out on some of the "secret" beaches that way ;)

    Kris | Love. Loft. Life.

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    1. I never even thought about the benefit of blending with the locals in Hawaii! Hopefully I get there someday soon, and when I do I'm going to be asking you for a lot of advice! xo

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  6. This post is SO great! thanks for sharing these tips, hubby and I are Europe bound in September so I will definitely be taking your advice. These are not things that would have come to mind :)
    xo
    The Fashionista Bubble

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    1. I'm so glad that you found these tips helpful, Naghmeh. Where are you headed? xo

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  7. Yess I totally agree with these tips! I tend to stick with neutral colors as well, and though I try not to show my camera, I can't help but capture everything so I guess that sort of ruins my image as a potential local =/
    hahahah lovely post!

    xx shirley
    http://www.classifiedcloset.com/

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    1. HAHA I totally agree Shirley - I have a hard time putting my camera away too! We're always snapping photos along the way, but are mindful to keep the cameras hidden while stopped and especially on public transit.

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  9. Hi Joelle,
    interesting post and beautiful photography.

    I only did not get it - why do you need to wear ballet flats and shoes like that with your toes covered? What is the reason? Because locals do not wear sandals or what did you mean ? :)

    Thank you
    x
    Inna
    http://innagram.com

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    1. Hi Inna. Aside for the reasons mentioned, the places being visited are typically major cities and it's just not a city thing to wear sandals and flip flops around. Even myself, I live in Canada's major city and just don't wear sandals it's too dirty to do that!

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  10. Can't agree on the sandals part, as I'm european, and we do wear sandals in the city, when it's hot, only two rules:
    a) no rubber flip flops, THOSE are for the beach only
    b) no socks whatsoever, with open toe shoes.
    We can always spot tourists for: the huge cameras, the water bottles, the sunburns (wear some SPF, plz!), not dressing accordingly to the weather, wearing summer hats in the city, dressing like they're going to the beach ALWAYS, dressing poorly (we wonder if they wear the same stuff at home?) etc...

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